PS 58 will be showcasing the amazing work that students are doing in every grade to celebrate the Black Lives Matter at School movement in the 2020-2021 school year! Please click the link below to visit the virtual museum.
Amanda Gorman became the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles at age 16 in 2014 and the first national youth poet laureate 3 years later. On January 20, 2021, at the age of 22, she became the youngest poet to write and recite a piece at a presidential inauguration.
Read the full text of the poem “The Hill We Climb” here: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/20/amanda-gormans-inaugural-poem-the-hill-we-climb-full-text.html
Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente became the first Latin American player to collect 3,000 career hits before his death in a plane crash. Roberto Clemente played with the Brooklyn Dodgers’ minor league team before making his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955. He led the National League in battling four times during the 1960s and starred in the 1971 World Series. He died in a plane crash to deliver goods to Nicaragua in 1972.
Cicely Tyson is an award-winning film, television and stage actress. She is notable for her roles in ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,’ ‘The Help’ and Broadway’s ‘The Trip to Bountiful,’ among others. Cicely Tyson built a successful career by carefully choosing roles that exemplified quality and depth. She has won accolades and awards for her performances on TV, stage and in film. Tyson has won three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, among other honors, over the course of her acting career. She was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/actor/cicely-tyson
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a Neo-Expressionist painter in the 1980s. He is best known for his primitive style and his collaboration with pop artist Andy Warhol. Jean-Michel Basquiat first attracted attention for his graffiti under the name "SAMO" in New York City. He sold sweatshirts and postcards featuring his artwork on the streets before his painting career took off. He collaborated with Andy Warhol in the mid-1980s, which resulted in a show of their work. Basquiat has been credited with bringing the African American and Latino experience into the elite art world.
Baseball legend Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's hallowed mark of 714 home runs and finished his career with numerous big league records. Born into humble circumstances in Mobile, Alabama, Hank Aaron ascended the ranks of the Negro Leagues to become a Major League Baseball icon. He spent most of his 23 seasons as an outfielder for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, during which time he set many records, including a career total of 755 home runs. Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, and in 1999, MLB established the Hank Aaron Award to annually honor the top hitter in each league.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/athlete/hank-aaron
Gordon Parks was a prolific, world-renowned photographer, writer, composer and filmmaker. Gordon Parks was a self-taught artist who became the first African American photographer for Life and Vogue magazines. He also pursued movie directing and screenwriting, working at the helm of the films ‘The Learning Tree’, based on a novel he wrote, and ‘Shaft’. Parks has published several memoirs and retrospectives as well, including A Choice of Weapons.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/artist/gordon-parks
Civil rights activist Medgar Evers was the first state field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi. As such, he organized voter-registration efforts and economic boycotts, and investigated crimes perpetrated against Black people. Evers was assassinated outside of his Mississippi home in 1963, and after years of on-again, off-again legal proceedings, his killer was sent to prison in 1994. In 2017, President Barack Obama designated Evers' home a national historic landmark.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/activist/medgar-evers
Arthur Ashe became the first (and remains the only) African American male tennis player to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon singles titles. He was also the first African American man to earn the No. 1 ranking in the world and the first to earn induction into the Tennis Hall of Fame. Always an activist, when Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion, he turned his efforts to raising awareness about the disease, before finally succumbing to it on February 6, 1993.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/athlete/arthur-ashe
After being kidnapped from West Africa and enslaved in Boston, Phillis Wheatley became the first African American and one of the first women to publish a book of poetry in the colonies in 1773.
Poet Phillis Wheatley was brought to Boston, Massachusetts, on an enslaved person ship in 1761 and was purchased by John Wheatley as a personal servant to his wife. The Wheatleys educated Phillis and she soon mastered Latin and Greek, going on to write highly acclaimed poetry. She published her first poem in 1767 and her first volume of verse, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, in 1773.
In 1922, aviator Bessie Coleman became the first African American woman to stage a public flight in America. Her high-flying skills always wowed her audience. Bessie Coleman was an American aviator and the first Black woman to earn a pilot's license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from France's well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just seven months. Coleman specialized in stunt flying and parachuting, earning a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks. She remains a pioneer of women in the field of aviation.
Langston Hughes was an African American writer whose poems, columns, novels and plays made him a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.
Langston Hughes published his first poem in 1921. He attended Columbia University, but left after one year to travel. A leading light of the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes published his first book in 1926. He went on to write countless works of poetry, prose and plays, as well as a popular column for the Chicago Defender.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/writer/langston-hughes
Jesse Owens, also known as "The Buckeye Bullet," was an American track and field athlete who won four gold medals and broke two world records at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. His long jump record stood for 25 years. Owens’ athletic career began in high school when he won three track and field events at the 1933 National Interscholastic Championships. Two years later, while competing for Ohio State University, he equaled one world record and broke three others before qualifying and competing in the 1936 Olympics.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/athlete/jesse-owens
One of the most influential forces behind the creation of The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is the man the building is named after, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg. Born in Puerto Rico in 1874 to a Black mother and a father of German descent, young Arturo often wondered about the lack of African history taught in his classrooms.This interest formed the cornerstone of Schomburg’s eventual lifework consisting of research and preservation—work that would lead him to become one of the world’s premier collectors of Black literature, slave narratives, artwork, and diasporic materials.
Shirley Chisholm is best known for becoming the first Black congresswoman (1968), representing New York State in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms. She went on to run for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the presidency—becoming the first major-party African-American candidate to do so. Throughout her political career, Chisholm fought for education opportunities and social justice. Chisholm left Congress in 1983 to teach. She died in Florida in 2005.
Fannie Lou Hamer was an African American civil rights activist who led voting drives and co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Born into a Mississippi sharecropping family, Fannie Lou Hamer spent much of her early life in the cotton fields. She became involved with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in 1962, through which she led voting drives and relief efforts. In 1964, she co-founded and ran for Congress as a member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, drawing national attention to their cause at that year's Democratic Convention. Hamer continued her activism through declining health, until her death in 1977.
Acclaimed ballerina Misty Copeland is the first African American performer to be appointed as a principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre. Misty Copeland endured a tumultuous home life to find her way to dance, eventually studying under California ballet instructor Cindy Bradley. Copeland joined the studio company of American Ballet Theatre in 2000, becoming a soloist several years later and starring in an array of productions such as The Nutcracker and Firebird. An icon whose star shines beyond the world of classical dance, in late June 2015 Copeland became the first African American performer to be appointed as an ABT principal dancer in the company's decades-long history.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/athlete/misty-copeland
Bayard Rustin moved to New York in the 1930s and was involved in pacifist groups and early civil rights protests. Combining non-violent resistance with organizational skills, he was a key adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. Though he was arrested several times for his own civil disobedience and open homosexuality, he continued to fight for equality. Rustin received numerous awards and honorary degrees throughout his career. His writings about civil rights were published in the collection Down the Line in 1971 and in Strategies for Freedom in 1976. He continued to speak about the importance of economic equality within the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the need for social rights for gays and lesbians.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/activist/bayard-rustin
Laverne Cox is a transgender actress who studied dance for years before doing TV work that included Law & Order episodes and the reality show TRANSform Me. She stepped into the limelight in a major way with her role on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Cox has continued to be an advocate for trans and LGBT rights while appearing in additional screen projects such as The Mindy Project, Doubt and Grandma. Cox is a trailblazer, becoming the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy and to appear on the cover of Time magazine. She also works as a trans-rights advocate, hosting her own column on The Huffington Post where, among other write-ups, she’s penned an eloquent essay on gender expression and oppression. Cox is also the executive producer behind the documentaries The T Word (2014), which follows the lives of several trans youth, and Free CeCe (2016), which tells the plight of an imprisoned trans woman. For The T Word, Cox won an Emmy, making her the first transgender women to win for an executive producer role. For the February 2018 South African edition of Cosmopolitan, Cox became the first openly transgender cover girl in the magazine's history.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/actor/laverne-cox
Rebecca Lee Crumpler challenged the prejudice that prevented African Americans from pursuing careers in medicine to become the first African American woman in the United States to earn an M.D. degree, a distinction formerly credited to Rebecca Cole. Although little has survived to tell the story of Crumpler's life, she has secured her place in the historical record with her book of medical advice for women and children, published in 1883.
Poet Gwendolyn Brooks moved to Chicago at a young age. She began writing and publishing as a teenager, eventually achieving national fame for her 1945 collection A Street in Bronzeville. In 1950 Brooks became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize, for her book Annie Allen. She died in her Chicago home on December 3, 2000. In 1960 she published her third book of poetry, The Bean Eaters, which included her beloved "We Real Cool," a poem that explores themes of youth, rebellion and morality. She also went on to publish her long poem "In the Mecca" in 1968, which was nominated for a National Book Award in poetry.
Kimberle Crenshaw is a Professor of Law and an advocate and educator for civil rights, race studies, constitutional law, and social inclusion. She currently teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as Columbia University. Crenshaw has authored a number of books. Her writings revolve around civil rights, black feminist legal theory, race, racism, and the law. She has been recognized for her contributions to the field of law, race, and social justice and in 2007 was awarded the Fulbright Chair for Latin America in Brazil. Ms. Magazine named her the “No. 1 Most Inspiring Feminist” in 2015, and was recently given the 2016 Outstanding Scholar Award for Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.
Jane Bolin was a trailblazing attorney who became the first African American female judge in the United States, serving on New York's Family Court for four decades.
Jane Bolin graduated from Yale Law School and, after relocating to New York City, became sworn in by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia as the first African American female judge in the U.S. She served on the Family Court bench for four decades, advocating for children and families via outside institutions as well. She died at age 98 on January 8, 2007.
Mae C. Jemison is an American astronaut and physician who, on June 4, 1987, became the first African American woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program. On September 12, 1992, Jemison finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, becoming the first African American woman in space. In recognition of her accomplishments, Jemison has received several awards and honorary doctorates.
Thurgood Marshall was an American lawyer who was appointed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1967. He was the first African American to hold the position and served for 24 years, until 1991. Marshall studied law at Howard University. As counsel to the NAACP, he utilized the judiciary to champion equality for African Americans. In 1954, he won the Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools.Marshall stands alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X as one of the greatest and most important figures of the American civil rights movement. Although he may be the least popularly celebrated of the three, Marshall was arguably the most instrumental in the movement's achievements toward racial equality.
Mary McLeod Bethune was a child of formerly enslaved people. She graduated from the Scotia Seminary for Girls in 1893. Believing that education provided the key to racial advancement, Bethune founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute in 1904, which later became Bethune-Cookman College. She founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. Bethune died in 1955. She is remembered for her work to advance the rights of both African Americans and women.
Ralph Bunche was a Nobel Peace Prize–winning academic and U.N. diplomat known for his peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean.
Born in the early 20th century in Detroit, Michigan, Ralph Bunche became a world-renowned diplomat for the United Nations, winning the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the 1949 Armistice Agreements in the Middle East. Known for his patience and optimism, he continued to negotiate peaceful settlements through his rise to the rank of under-secretary-general for the U.N., while also contributing to the civil rights struggle back home. Bunche died in 1971 in New York City.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/scientist/ralph-bunche
Charles Richard Drew was an African American physician who developed ways to process and store blood plasma in "blood banks." He directed the blood plasma programs of the United States and Great Britain in World War II, but resigned after a ruling that the blood of African Americans would be segregated.
After creating two of the first blood banks, Drew returned to Howard University in 1941. He served as a professor there, heading up the university's department of surgery. He also became the chief surgeon at Freedmen's Hospital. Later that year, he became the first African American examiner for the American Board of Surgery.
Learn more: https://www.biography.com/scientist/charles-drew
Eugene Jacques Bullard is considered to be the first African-American military pilot to fly in combat, and the only African-American pilot in World War I. Ironically, he never flew for the United States. In 1912 he stowed away on the Marta Russ, a German freighter bound for Hamburg, and ended up in Aberdeen, Scotland. From there he made his way to London, where he worked as a boxer and slapstick performer in Belle Davis’s Freedman Pickaninnies, an African American entertainment troupe. In 1913, Bullard went to France for a boxing match. Settling in Paris, he became so comfortable with French customs that he decided to make a home there. He enlisted in the French flying service. Bullard’s determination paid off, and in November 1916 he entered the Aéronautique Militaire. Bullard began flight training at Tours in 1916 and received his wings in May 1917. During his flying days, Bullard is said to have had an insignia on his Spad 7 C.1 that portrayed a heart with a dagger running through it and the slogan “All Blood Runs Red.”